2016-10-19 / Front Page

Cops: Beware ‘Mail Fishing’ In 114th Precinct

By Liz Goff
Police at the 114th Precinct are searching for a team of suspects responsible for a recent uptick in “mail fishing” within the command.

Cops said suspects involved in mail “fishing” schemes attach an assortment of sticky or adhesive objects to a string, to “fish” mail out of mailboxes. The crooks sort through the stolen mail for checks and personal information, police said.

“The suspects wash the checks with a chemical substance and reissue them to another name for a greater amount of money,” a law enforcement source said. They use personal information obtained from stolen mail for their own illegal activities or sell the information to others,” the source said. “It can be a nightmare for people whose mail has been stolen.”

Police are urging the public to use “Uniball 207” gel pens when writing checks they intend to mail. Ink used in the pens contains an element that resists chemical washing. “These gel pens are more expensive, but the type of ink used in their manufacture is very resistant to wash chemicals,” the source said. 

The public is also being urged to remain alert and check their bank accounts for discrepancies, and to mail checks at indoor U.S. Post Office “drop boxes” that provide greater security.

Mail fishing has not increased to an alarming extent in the 114th Precinct, the source said. “Police officials are simply taking appropriate action to alert the community to be on the lookout for check discrepancies, and to report any discrepancy that could be connected to a mail fishing scheme,” the law enforcement source said.

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